Select Committee on Committee on the London Local Authorities Bill Minutes of Evidence

Evidence before the Committee (Questions 335-339)


335.  CHAIRMAN: Good morning. As we agreed yesterday the sitting time will be from 10 o' clock until 4 o'clock. It is proposed that we break for lunch again at approximately 12.30 and reconvene at 1.30. Can I welcome everybody back. Sorry, Mr Thompson, I felt you were just about to launch into your peroration and finale when the timetable hit us, I apologise for that. If you would now like to address the Committee.

336.  MR THOMPSON: Yesterday I read a letter from myself to Miss Payne at Scotland Yard, the reply was: "Thank you for your letter dated 9 May. I understand that you have discussed the subject of pedlars' certificates with Gloria Payne". This is from Mr Ian Jenkins, Community Safety and Partnerships, Room 1.13, Westminster and Territorial Policing Headquarters, Victoria Embankment.

337.  "As a result of your letter we will be reviewing our policy in relation to the issue of pedlars' certificates. You have raised some very poignant matters, which the Metropolitan Police will look to address with the Immigration Service and Overseas Visitors Centre.

338.  "At this time a response to your question on establishing whether an applicant for a pedlars' certificate is an honest person certainly criminal record checks and checks on our Criminal Intelligence database are conducted. This will enable an assessment to be conducted on their suitability. There is no formal requirement to interview any applicant as your contact with the DTI suggests but it would be good practice to do so. When the legislation was drawn up in 1871, seeking information from non EU and EU countries was not envisaged, and certainly today some non EU countries do not maintain satisfactory records to make an informed decision on the suitability of any applicant. This will be an area we will seek to review in our policy, but without a change in legislation any legal challenges would override any of our policy changes.

339.  In relation to our second question, allocating certificates to non EU residents in breach of their work restrictions, our links with the Immigration Service on this matter do need to revisited, as does the advice we send out to all boroughs in London in relation to seeking additional information from non EU residents. This will be done".

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